Bite-sized episodes focusing on one interesting story from the Metafilter community.
Out of the Blue, episode #2: On emotional labor, with Jess Zimmerman
On July 13th, the writer Jess Zimmerman posted "Where's My Cut?": On Unpaid Emotional Labor on The Toast, an essay about how and why emotional work is often undervalued and treated as "women's work". Or, more to the point, not even work: just something women are inherently supposed to do. It's a good piece, and what it spawned was even more interesting: a huge, revelatory MetaFilter thread in which site members, women in particular, talked about all the ways this asymmetry and devaluation of emotional labor has affected their lives and their relationships. The resulting thread was immense, with surprising momentum: while many discussion threads tail off after a day or two, this one kept going for the entire month it was open (MetaFilter threads close after 30 days) and collected upward of 2100 comments by the end, from hundreds of different people. New folks signed up by the dozens to join in; members shared personal revelations, talked about the new vocabulary the discussion was giving them, posted both hopeful and heartbreaking updates about how these ideas were impacting their relationships with spouses, romantic partners, and friends. There were spinoff discussions, especially on Ask MetaFilter where several site members asked about emotional labor in various contexts. And there were even 170 or so comments about a proposed women-only retreat called Crone Island, for which ocherdraco made a travel poster. In this episode, I talk with Jess Zimmerman about her expectations and experiences writing the original piece, the reaction it got on MetaFilter, the collective disservice these gender expectations do both women and men, and some of the ideas that came out of that intense, personal collection of stories in the discussion thread. Helpful Links Podcast Feed Subscribe with iTunes Direct mp3 download @MefiOOTB on Twitter
Out of the Blue, episode #1: The Snail That Wouldn't Die
In 1846, a dead snail was glued to a specimen card in the British Museum. In 1850, somebody realized that the snail...wasn't so dead after all, kicking off a curious story of molluskular stoicism that charmed the mid 19th C. science-and-nature circuit. But what went on in the ensuing 150 years? Site user "nicebookrack" wanted to know, and posted question to Ask MetaFilter asking, well, whatever happened to the snail that wouldn't die? The answers she got put her on the path to reaching the Natural History Museum's Jon Ablett, Curator of Mollusca, who was able to help her put together the missing details, all of which she collated into a fantastic post on MetaFilter. In this episode, I talk with nicebookrack about the snail's story, how it caught her attention in the first place via Project Gutenberg, and her experiences putting the whole thing together. Helpful Links Podcast Feed Subscribe with iTunes Direct mp3 download @MefiOOTB on Twitter
Accessible and interesting
Just-right-sized stories from a fascinating community
A nice little slice of MetaFilter
Very Reply All / TL;DR, but devoted to the MetaFilter web community and the odd habits and interests of its communities.